Thank You Letters
Following graduation, it's pretty common to have a mailbox full of congratulations from friends and family. In that sense, I was pretty normal. Thus, I found it suddenly a part of my to do list to mail out dozens of thank you notes that, hopefully, didn't sound too generic. It became apparent that each one could follow a bit of format and once I found that trend, they suddenly became much easier to write. Now, Graduations aren't the only event that equates to lots of thank you letters. Be it a wedding, baby shower, birthday party, or even following a job interview; thank you notes are a necessary part of life. To make things a bit easier on you, here's a template that will expedite the process.
Greeting: Start with the general letter format. Those who often send emails or letters should be familiar with this format, its just referring to the Dear Bob, or simply Bob, at the top of the paper, followed by a open line before starting the letter. Don't underestimate having good format.
Gratitude: Lead with your way of saying thank you. Yes, this sentence will be quite basic but it is necessary to devote a full sentence to just say thanks. When doing this, do not state the obvious and put "I'm just writing to say". Just don’t do it. Another piece of advice I've learned over the years is not to refer to a gift of money as cash or any other blunt term. Rather, go with thank you for your generosity. I can guarantee that this, if nothing else, you will use in loads of thank you letters in the future.
Impact: People like to know what they got you is going to good use or made a difference. You can give them this satisfaction by simply saying what you liked about what they got you or how you are using it. Don't lie and say you wear the ugly sweater your aunt Mathilda got you every day, but you can say it was very soft or some other aspect you did like about it. If the gift was money, it is great to explain what the money paid for. Also, if the gift was time or a service, you can explain the impact the service made in completing a project or whatever it was you were able to accomplish with the giver's help.
Nostalgia or Excitement: At this point in the letter it's easy to think you're finished and call things good. However, this is a great time to make the letter seem personalized. You can bring up a memory from the last time you were with the giver or you can bring up how excited you are to see them again at whatever event is coming up. "I'm so excited to see you at the next family reunion" or "I so enjoyed seeing you this summer at the annual picnic" would both be great examples. IF you won't be seeing the giver anytime soon you could also wish them luck in one of their endeavors coming up "I hope you have a wonderful time in your new home out in Seattle" or a more broad "I hope we are able to cross paths again soon" are both good options for that kind of situation.
Gratitude #2: Here's yet another chance to say thank you to the giver. Simple and easy and oh so necessary. You can never be too gracious.
Sincerely, Lots of Love, Until Next time, Love,
Armed with a simple template that can work for any thank you note, you should be set for every important milestone to come.